Roadmap from EVE Vegas 2014

Roadmap to Hell

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 72nd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter 72 – This is the Road (map) to…..

This month’s suggestion comes from Jakob Anedalle.

“What do you think about using Sugar’s recent blog post as a kickoff for a Blog Banter. I think it’s a great open-ended topic:

You know what? That’s all it needs. A great open ended topic!

Banter on!

Alright, so, I feel the need to preface this a bit. First, I’m not a developer for Eve Online. Asking for me to build a roadmap for the year or two following Citadels is like asking someone to plot the course of a nuclear submarine without knowing what mission it is on. Are there objectives already being looked at for a post-Citadel landscape? Undoubtedly. Are there adjustments and probably not-insignificant hours going to be required for post-launch Citadel tweaking? Yeah, more than likely. In fact, it isn’t a stretch to believe that the entire year following Citadel launch will have at least one development team dedicated to Citadels. That’s just how a big feature launch works in an MMO.

If instead we are asking for vision – what core tenets of the game would I pursue as CCP if given the opportunity – well, then, I think it has to be Seagull space. It has to be compelling enough not to just add more nullsec onto an already dried up nullsec population. It needs to have some unique mechanics, a new draw into the game, and it needs to not totally destroy the balance of things in New Eden.

The last time space was added to the game was with wormholes, a feature that is still in use today and has matured over time into a very respectable niche of Eve. Wormholes engender their own community, their own rules, their own special sauce – and they provide a great hook for new players. Seagull space needs to tick all those boxes without just being more wormholes but this time with player built stargates, because that would be altogether disappointing.

At this point, though, a decision has to be made – whether iterating constantly on old features is the path ahead, or whether being bold and striking out for new territory is the way to go. We who remain in the Eve community who remember pre- and post-Incarna have been spoiled by nearly 5 years of fixes, iteration, and gentle expansion at this point. We’ve seen new ships added to broaden our game horizons, we’ve seen the sovereignty mechanic (for better or worse) entirely overhauled, and now we have Citadels coming to be the new POSes. Sure, there are plenty of places where development time could be spent – faction warfare, lowsec in general, further improvements to sovereignty, not to mention corporation management and all that – but at some point you have to swing for the fences once more.

That, or just content yourself with a steadily, but slowly, diminishing customer base. I

If it was my call, I’d swing away.